Skretteberg chooses special education to make a difference

MINOT, N.D. – First-year student and Dickinson native Ella Skretteberg decided to attend Minot State University to take advantage of the endless possibilities MSU’s Special Education Department had to offer.

“I took a tour the summer going into my senior year. I was already interested in special education,” she said. “When I saw the opportunities MSU had. The real-life practices, I knew why I wanted to go here.”

Skretteberg found this interest in helping those with special needs early in her life. She then continued with this passion throughout a variety of years, helping family and friends, an organization in Dickinson called ABLE, and now is continuing that with the ASTEP program MSU hosts.

“Back in Dickinson, I used to work at ABLE, where I supported adults with special needs. In addition, I am close with two people who had special needs,” Skretteberg said. “I have a draw towards helping them. I knew that was something I was interested in pursuing.”

She knows that MSU was the exact step she needed to take to get to where she wants to go in life — to become a teacher and support students as a career.

“Through my classes I am learning all the material and lessons I will need in order to be a successful teacher,” said Skretteberg.

MSU supports her through her academic career and building a community for her.

“I did not have the budget to go out of state, but MSU gave me all the options and made it finically possible for me,” she said. “In Minot, I have been able to build new connections and long-lasting friendships that I didn’t find in my hometown.”

Minot State continues to offer her more, and she is fond of all the classes and passionate faculty including instructors MariDon Sorum, Erica Baily, and advisor Molly Paszek, all in special education, and Nigel George, associate professor of physics, in astronomy.

“I would recommend the ASL (American Sign Language) classes. I have had MariDon and now I have Erica Bailey and I like her. I also love my advisor Molly, and she taught SPED 110. I am also taking astronomy with Dr. George, and he makes it so fun,” Skretteberg said.

Outside of her classes and work she still finds that she is enjoying her college experience by taking advantage of the wide variety of activities on campus.

“I love the American Sign Language classes and the ASL Club. I love connecting with the Deaf community in Minot,” Skretteberg said. “I also find that the events MSU Life hosts such as the bingo or Slamabama, at the beginning of the year, are so fun.”

As she works towards her degree, she finds it is her true passion more and looks forward to her future. After her time at Minot State, she is looking forward to working at a school supporting those in need and added she is looking forward to having time to take an after-school nap.   

“I would love to move somewhere warmer eventually and I also want to work with elementary students,” said Skretteberg.

Even though this is her first year in college, Skretteberg feels it has been a huge life experience, and she has learned a lot about herself.

“Prioritizing your work is important,” she said. “I would recommend this to any students. It is a different step than high school, but it is not as bad as you think it is.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 03/22/24   

» More MSU News